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I grew up driving, and still do live in the south (Mississippi gulf coast, Florida) so not a LOT of experience driving on real mountain conditions. Last time I did, was in a 1997 Blazer; did a decent job managing the gears and survived a week with both brakes and transmission intact.
Now....we have a '20 Pilot and are heading to north Carolina/Tennessee. I know on the newer vehicles, the computer dictates a lot, if not everything, inconjuction with the various sensors....so when I'm heading up and down these grades, should I just leave in drive and let Honda technology do the work or drop it into low on the longer inclines like on the old school vehicles?
 

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Very happy how my 2017 handled it.. we were close to Pigeon Forge and it was raining pretty hard, I was a bit worried and tried to fiddle with the paddle shifters but it didn’t feel like I was doing a better job than the computer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I grew up driving, and still do live in the south (Mississippi gulf coast, Florida) so not a LOT of experience driving on real mountain conditions. Last time I did, was in a 1997 Blazer; did a decent job managing the gears and survived a week with both brakes and transmission intact.
Now....we have a '20 Pilot and are heading to north Carolina/Tennessee. I know on the newer vehicles, the computer dictates a lot, if not everything, inconjuction with the various sensors....so when I'm heading up and down these grades, should I just leave in drive and let Honda technology do the work or drop it into low on the longer inclines like on the old school vehicles?
6 speed or 9 speed transmission?

6 speed going up or down hill and the vehicle is struggling then use the D4 button to shift to a lower gear.

9 speed transmission set the shift mode to Sequential and choose a lower gear such as 7th gear when going up or down hills.

Down shifting on any serious grade is the best thing you can do for your transmission as well as your brakes.
 

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I'm not for using cruise control in hilly conditions. Really working the transmission that way.
 

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I've driven the Appalachians many times in many different vehicles in VA, WVA, MD, and SW PA. Generally the signage indicates when a larger uphill or downhill sections is coming up, either longer, steeper or both. The Pilot will have absolutely no trouble with any of the uphill stuff unless you are afraid to use the throttle. The downhill will be perfectly fine as well, if you really are concerned scrub speed before you crest the hill and pop it down a gear or two so you get some engine braking assistance.
 

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I’ve driven from Northern Maine be to Miami, and back. Once was enough. Done Mass to Upstate SC, which on I77 from Charlotte to VA has some of the steepest hills on any interstate.
Put your car into Drive, and set cruise control. You’ll do fine. If you feel the speed limit is higher than your comfort zone, slow down.
I’m not sure about the third gen but the first gen, if CC was used going downhill, and it exceeded the set speed by enough mph, the Pilot would downshift to control speed.
 

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I grew up driving, and still do live in the south (Mississippi gulf coast, Florida) so not a LOT of experience driving on real mountain conditions. Last time I did, was in a 1997 Blazer; did a decent job managing the gears and survived a week with both brakes and transmission intact.
Now....we have a '20 Pilot and are heading to north Carolina/Tennessee. I know on the newer vehicles, the computer dictates a lot, if not everything, inconjuction with the various sensors....so when I'm heading up and down these grades, should I just leave in drive and let Honda technology do the work or drop it into low on the longer inclines like on the old school vehicles?
Its not like your driving up Mt Washington towing a boat...... Put it in drive and leave it alone. I've driven all over the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire with many cars including my 2019 Pilot. Unless your driving up or down some very steep roads or towing something don't worry about it

And yes....My Pilot has been to the top of Mt Washington. It was 78F at the base when we left and 27F with a 35mph wind at the summit. It was easy peasy, kept in in drive going up and coming down
 

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Now I know why 6-speed factory ATF is failing. When I get in the hill country, I baby my transmission, doing all I can to feather out the shifts by allowing the vehicle to slow going up hill. Otherwise the cruise control will overwork your transmission trying to maintain a certain speed. Maybe the 9-speed has an easier time with this.
 
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Deleted thread, I'm not awake yet LOL

And I wou8ld NOT use the Cruise control on any hilly terrain.
I guess that's just me LOL
 
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Haven't been to Pikes Peak in years. I wonder if they still have mandatory stops on the way down to check brake temps and make you sit for a few minutes to let your brakes cool down if they are too high?

Engine braking its not just for truckers anymore.


EDIT: Okay, checked the internet to answer my own question and yep they still do:

 

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My wife and I just happened to be in the area when Travis Pastrana made this run. The day before we saw a bunch of film trucks in the area and heard they were shutting the road down for run. We made it over to the base and it was a circus. They had 4 helicopters along with a ton of film equipment

 

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Just drive like you normally would. Do not use cruise control in hilly terrain, it'll give the transmission a big workout. I have never intentionally used a lower gear to engine brake, but sometimes the transmission will downshift itself and hold the lower gear until everything levels out.
 

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Ooh, Valvoline.
Are you sure that's not @Nail Grease behind the wheel.
Lots of opportunities to take corners at 75mph.
I'm 100% certain that there is no MaxLife ATF in his manual transmission.
 

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The transmission only needs to last for one 7.6 mile trip uphill. No need for MaxLife.
Manual transmission. Valvoline does not recommend MaxLife for this application.
 

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I've been all over the Western US including numerous mountain passes, with the 6-speed version, including towing. I don't think you need to do anything special with this vehicle - although I'd suggest switching off eco-mode to keep the shifts where they should be.

Like any other vehicle with automatic transmission, select D4 (or possibly even L for lower speed situations) to keep speed under control while descending without having to drag your brakes.

I'm pretty sure they tested this vehicle in mountains before it was released in 2016 👍
 
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